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Marko denies Gasly will be number two at Red Bull

  • Published on 22 Jan 2019 09:15
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko says that Pierre Gasly will not act as a number two driver to Max Verstappen. The Frenchman was promoted following an unexpected decision from Daniel Ricciardo to leave for Renault.

Gasly admits that it will take him time to get up to speed in a front running car and challenge Verstappen, who has been at the team since 2016. Red Bull never imposed number one and two status' when Verstappen partnered Ricciardo, as they were able to fight on multiple occasions.

And Marko says that the energy drink squad will keep the same mindset with its new pairing in 2019: "He is not a number two driver,” Marko stated to Auto Bild. “That is off limits at Red Bull.

“Max took the next step last season and Daniel Ricciardo noticed that. But Max will give Gasly the time he needs, so my guess is that he’ll be closer to Max in qualifying. That is normal for a debutant in a top team. ”

Gasly admitted that he is excited by the prospect of going up against five-time Grand Prix winner Verstappen, saying that competing alongside him will benefit his own development.

"For sure I will probably need some time to get comfortable with the team, to get used with the car, with the people, the way of working," Gasly said to Autosport. Coming from Toro Rosso to Red Bull is, as I say, different targets, different culture also, a more English culture in Red Bull. 

"So this is the kind of things that take a bit of time, but for sure Max is one of the fastest guys at the moment in the paddock and for me I'm super excited to go alongside him because that's how you also raise your game.

"So I find it a really exciting time for myself and I'm really looking forward to starting, and we will see how I perform straight away. But for sure I will get better through the season and that's fair to say."

Replies (6)

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  • He can deny all he wants but MV is RBR's main man that's the reality, they will do just about anything to keep him, and rightly so, unless of course PG turns out to to be faster!

    • + 1
    • Jan 22 2019 - 10:40
  • Ya, he wont be the official number 2 until we know if Max will steamroll him. The likely scenario, but who knows? I'd kinda love it if he went in and just flattened Max, would be a funny twist.

    • + 0
    • Jan 22 2019 - 20:11
    • Its almost impossible, but PG beating max often with around 0.100 sec gap would be Mercedez 2016 allover again.

      • + 0
      • Jan 23 2019 - 06:39
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Yes, would love to see that too - but not sure we've seen that sort of skill from him in STR.......I might be wrong but I see a dominant qualifying, say 16/5 in Max's favour over the season. That ordinarily leads to priority on strategy in the race proper. Let's see.

    • + 0
    • Jan 22 2019 - 22:38
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    It is the same for any top driver, Mercedes does anything to retain Hamilton, Verstappen is in the same landscape. It will be interesting to see how they compare in qualifying. Not sure if Gasly has mastered the art of managing his tyres yet. Any prediction is silly to make at this time since we don't know how much more either driver is going to improve.

    Verstappen is at an point in his career to challenge for an WC whereas Gasly hasn't even made the podium yet. It wouldn't be fair to expect Gasly to be at that level. Verstappen is more than capable to lead the team and set direction Gasly will enjoy next year being in a more competitive drive.

    • + 0
    • Jan 22 2019 - 23:38
  • If you remember the "Multi 21" incident, then you know when push comes to shove RBR does favor one driver over another.

    • + 0
    • Jan 24 2019 - 23:42

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